1. After supper and while everybody else reads books or plays, bundle up one child and sneak out for a walk through the holiday lights. Take one child a night and enjoy the quiet magical night together.
2. Decorate something silly for the holidays. Hang ornaments on the chandelier, stick bows all over the refrigerator, or hang garland in the car.
3. Spray "snow" on the corners of all of the mirrors.
4. Give the kids a box of extra decorations to play dress up and make believe with. Let them make boas from garland, hang ornaments from their buttonholes, use doilies as hats, you name it. Take lots of pics!
5. Every time the clock chimes (or a timer set for an hour dings), everybody grab a drum, flute, mini guitar or other noisy thing and make music for a minute. One year, my hubby got me a clock that plays Christmas carols every hour and as soon as it started to sing we’d all dash for the pile of instruments and make noise like lunatics!
6. Enlist older kids in leaving telltale signs of Santa around the house– sneak bites from cookies, leave big bootprints by the door, jingle some bells and then hide them quickly, etc.
7. Go to the beauty parlor with your daughter and get both of you a manicure or hair styling.
8. Use a bottle for a candle holder and start a tradition of burning candles at dinner to let the wax drip in designs down the bottle. These evolving works of art can be a lot of fun to plan (what color next? will it burn better if you blow gently?) and almost hypnotic to watch at times. Avoid dripless candles, of course!
9. Ever so often, giggle very softly under your breath and exclaim that you just heard a fairy, brownie, magic elf or other make believe visitor. My kiddos have as much fun trying to catch me making the noises as they do looking quickly under the table for those tricky little things.
10. Talk to your kids about how today’s exact date will never ever happen again and ask them for ideas on what to do to remember it for their whole lives. I still remember a simple walk with my grandmother when I was 10 because she told me to keep the memory. It doesn’t take a huge event to make each day count.